All of us do it and we need it, desperately. No joke. I am serious as a sheet of flame.
If we flipped on the lights and saw everything for what it truly is, there would be no point in being here. There would be nothing to learn. Nothing to strive for, work with or against, overcome, transcend and rise above.
Suffering and Happiness are two sides of the same coin. We cannot know one without the other. Everything in the physical is defined by what it is NOT.
There is no black without white. Good without bad. Right without wrong. You can’t experience anything in the physical without knowing/experiencing its opposite.
Buddha has stated, “We cannot escape duality. It is inherent in the physical world.”
So the the short answer is…without experiencing and knowing suffering we wouldn’t know what happiness is or be able to experience it.
Suffering is intrinsic to the Human experience as well as in other experiences (both non-human and non-physical). But humans experience a “richness” unlike elsewhere. Everything we experience is on a granular level, which is a key point in choosing to have a Human experience. You need a physical vehicle (the body) to experience the caress of a lover, the soft fur of your dog, the heat from a fireplace, the saltiness of the ocean, the deafening blare of a car alarm (I live in NYC), etc.
It is the very rich and varied experiences of suffering that awakens the mind and opens the heart to joy and happiness. The first step is to acknowledge our suffering. The second step is to identify the cause of suffering. The third step, now that we have identified the cause of suffering, is the plan moving forward along with the hope to be relieved of our suffering. And the final step is a mindful existence (based upon what we learned that causes suffering) that does not cause our own or other sentient beings suffering but instead cultivates joy.
We, individually and collectively, create all the suffering in this world. Either directly or indirectly we are responsible by either taking action (directly causing the suffering) or by inaction (allowing it to take place).
We are engaged in a profound moment of spiritual evolution and I am humbled to have the opportunity to participate.
To the people that are causing suffering, thank you for showing the rest of the world what we don’t want. Thank you for taking that burden (of causing suffering) on yourself so others don’t have to. And thank you for helping us all ascend as we send compassion to those areas of conflict and pain.
To all those who suffer at the hand of others, your toil is not in vain. On the contrary, it is the dark side of the light. You are the teachers of selflessness and compassion. You are my light.